Earlier today, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) partnering with other federal agencies to enact President Trump’s One Federal Decision framework for the permitting of large-scale infrastructure projects. Secretary Zinke was joined in signing the MOU by the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Housing and Urban Development, Transportation, Energy, Homeland Security, Environmental Protection Agency, and Army.
According to a press release issued by the Department of the Interior, “Under the MOU, the co-signing agencies are committing to work together to make the necessary environmental and permitting decisions for major infrastructure projects, with a goal to complete the entire process within 2 years”. To that end, the Department of the Interior has undertaken new initiatives to “balance the Secretary’s goals of environmental stewardship, conservation, and comprehensive land management.”
The American Action Forum found last year that the current average permitting process under the National Environmental Policy Act takes 70 months to complete, underscoring the need for more efficient, comprehensive coordination among federal agencies on the review of infrastructure projects.
Below is a statement you can attribute to me, Craig Stevens, spokesman for the GAIN Coalition. Also, you can follow us on Twitter @GAINNowAmerica.
“This action marks an important step forward for the development of infrastructure projects in the United States. Too often, these projects are needlessly bogged down by inefficiencies in the environmental review and permitting process, causing delays in job-creating investments that strengthen our nation’s infrastructure system and economy. Today, President Trump and senior leaders of his administration have demonstrated their commitment to cutting unnecessary bureaucratic red tape while ensuring a thorough review of all future infrastructure projects. We applaud this effort.”